From The Backbench

Debate on ministries' budgets: Home Affairs

MR CHRISTOPHER DE SOUZA
MR CHRISTOPHER DE SOUZA
MR PNG ENG HUAT
MR PNG ENG HUAT
MS RAHAYU MAHZAM
MS RAHAYU MAHZAM
MR GAN THIAM POH
MR GAN THIAM POH

MR CHRISTOPHER DE SOUZA (Holland-Bukit Timah GRC)

Fight fake news with legal tools

In the light of disinformation campaigns becoming more sophisticated, the authorities have to keep up with advancements in techniques of concealment and manipulation, said Mr de Souza.

He suggested "an armoury of legal tools" to combat foreign propagators of fake news and the effect of their actions.

He said it is up to Singapore to cope with, among other things, combating falsehoods and protecting race and religion from speech inciting violence.

He asked if the planned Science and Technology Agency will work to counter these threats specifically.


MR PNG ENG HUAT (Hougang)

Grant S'poreans' stepkids PR status

Singaporeans can get permanent residency for their foreign spouse but not their stepchildren.

Hence, these Singaporeans have to struggle with non-subsidised school fees, medical fees and more, said Mr Png.

In the light of Singapore's low birth rate here, he called for stepchildren to be allowed in to become part of the country.

He suggested giving them permanent resident (PR) status until they reach the age of 21, after which they can choose whether to be citizens.


MS RAHAYU MAHZAM (Jurong GRC)

Falsehoods can stoke religious divide

Citing her experience on the Select Committee on Deliberate Online Falsehoods last year, Ms Rahayu said online falsehoods can stoke communal and religious divide.

Inflammatory messages and hate speech can be spread on social media to cause tension among different communities. "These conversations are then carried into the real world and can affect the way we interact with one another," she said.

Ms Rahayu wants to know if there are plans to have laws or other forms of control to protect Singapore's religious harmony.


MR GAN THIAM POH(Ang Mo Kio GRC)

Don't liberalise drug use here

Mr Gan stressed the "undeniable" harm drug misuse can do to people's health.

Citing a growing trend of liberalising drug use in the West, including towards cannabis, he urged the Government to stop it from taking root in Singapore.

The abuse of such drugs may also lead people to explore other illicit drugs, added Mr Gan.

He asked how the Government is preventing illegal drugs from entering Singapore.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 02, 2019, with the headline 'Debate on ministries' budgets: Home Affairs'. Print Edition | Subscribe